Governor Expresses Support for Telehealth at Bill Signing

Before a ceremonial bill signing at the state house, Gov. Henry McMaster said he hopes to see telehealth continue to grow across the state.

“I look forward to the day we have total telemedicine in the state, when all the people on their cell phone can have access to medical care,” said McMaster.

Senate Bill 345, which expands practice abilities and cuts regulations for advanced practice nurses (APRNs), went into effect July 1.

As the law’s supporters gathered in the governor’s office Wednesday, including health administrators, nurse practitioners, and state legislators, the governor said the law’s greatest impact will be in rural communities.

“Access to health care, particularly in the rural areas, that is inexpensive and is available as close to 24 hours a day as we can make it; we can make our people more and more healthy,” he said.

Advanced practice nurses are now able to practice anywhere in the state, regardless of where their collaborating physician is located. Before the law was passed, APRNs had to be within 45 miles of a supervising physician.

The law also allows for APRNs to see patients through telehealth, using the same rules and guidelines that apply to physicians.